Product development engineer Bart Weetjens has a focus on appropriate technologies for developing countries. In 1998, Bart initiated the use of HeroRATS: trained giant African pouched rats as an alternative and sustainable landmine detector, in response to the global landmine challenge. Since 2000 APOPO addresses humanitarian detection challenges in Africa: the detection of landmines and screening for Tuberculosis. HeroRATS received multiple international recognitions.
Bart is an ASHOKA fellow and a SCHWAB fellow, and a permanent member to the Global Agenda Councils. In 2009, he won the SKOLL Awards for social entrepreneurship. Bart is a Zen Buddhist priest. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Tanzania.